This May Be Wrong

Hi Folks:

This post is based on two events from yesterday, but before I get to them I should provide a little history…

The last time I was in school was a little over twenty years ago, and one Sunday afternoon when I was studying I had a woman who was a representative of a local religious organization stop by my door.  She wanted to discuss her faith, and perhaps because I wanted to take a break from studying or perhaps because it was a sunny Sunday afternoon, I said, “Okay.”  So we stood and talked for about an hour and a half.  However, for everything that she offered from her system of beliefs, I countered with a different viewpoint from another Way.  She’d suggest something from the book she had with her, and I’d offer something to the effect of, “Yes, but the Buddhists believe…”  or “the Bible says…” or “in Taoist philosophy it is said…” or “in Native Spirituality they believe…” or, well, you get the idea.  We went back and forth like this as I said for about an hour and a half until finally I said, “I’ll be the first one to admit that I don’t have all the answers; I’m still a student.”  Her response to this was, “Well, I’ve found mine.” but I countered that with, “No, you think you have; you’ve stopped looking.”  At that point she left.

I had an almost identical repeat of this experience about a decade later with a man from the same religious organization – different town, different circumstances, but same general pattern.  The next time he came to see me he brought three more people with him – perhaps for backup.  I don’t know for sure.

Anyway, a lot has happened for me in those twenty years as I’ve continued my own journey into Being.  In some ways I’ve expanded on the depth and breadth of knowledge that I had, and in some ways I’ve become more conscious of pruning away beliefs and understandings that aren’t appropriate for me in this moment.  Yesterday morning I had this thought:

In Richard Bach’s book, “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” there is a book within the book, and on the last page of this little book of wisdoms it says, “Everything in this book may be wrong.”  It got me wondering… What if we tacked that sentence onto the last page of the Bible…? or the Koran…?  or a physics textbook…?  It takes a lot of courage to admit that what you believe may be wrong, that there may be another answer.  What would the world be like?  How would things change?

Then yesterday afternoon two gentlemen from the same religious organization came to the door.  Yes, they were looking for converts and trying to ‘sell’ their ideas, but I’m sure they don’t see it that way.  It got me wondering what they really wanted, what was underneath, and I thought that what they really want is recognition and acceptance of their beliefs.  It’s what we all want, deep down.  And I don’t have to believe in what they believe in order to accept that they do.  One thing I’ve always demanded for myself is the right to follow my own path, and I can’t do that without granting the same permission to others.  It’s impossible to look someone in the eye without them knowing who you are.  So I took the papers they offered me and recycled them, returned the smiles they offered and let them go on their way.

Love,
Mike.

5 Replies to “This May Be Wrong”

  1. Judy

    wonderful insight. As a mother of one who knocks on doors I have to be vigilant in allowing her to BE and maintain my own path at the same time. I do however agree with your earlier comment of the fact that they seem to stop looking. I can only TRUST that the PROCESS of LIFE is bringing us our highest good. Thank you.

    1. wolfnowl Post author

      Hi Judy, and thanks for your comment! It can be challenging when we see someone else walking a path other than what we would choose for them, but there's only one person in the world you can change, and you see her in the mirror. As for everyone else, all we can do is love them and let them be who they are – an integral part of All That Is. The Buddhists say that there are no rights or wrongs, only consequences. I would modify that slightly to say there are only choices, and that there are no wrong choices. When we can move past the idea of 'right' and 'wrong' we can find acceptance, and that can be a good place to be.

      Hugs,
      Mike.

  2. pwiinholt

    To be accepting and compassionate to others doesn't necessarily mean that we relinquish the ideas of right and wrong, or better and worse. There are holiarchies (?). One can accept that someone has need of their beliefs and accept their path and yet still try to move them in a positive direction. Without that idea, there would be no education or persuasion.
    The JW who withholds a blood transfusion from their young child may be firm in their beliefs, but I have no trouble judging them.

    1. wolfnowl Post author

      Perhaps, but what's 'right' and 'wrong' is a personal, societal, political or religious discussion that varies through time and even geography. As the saying goes, history is written by the winners. If you ever get a chance, I recommend the book "One" by Richard Bach, especially chapter 10.

      Love,
      Mike.

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